Thursday, August 22, 2013


Dan had the week off work, so we decided to go to Duluth, which is about a 3hr drive. We wanted something fairly close so we didn't have much drive time. My tailbone can't handle too much time in the car while pregnant, and the kids don't like it either. We stopped at a couple rest stops, and then some Falls on the way there. Gabriel was not impressed and the noise freaked him out!
 Still apprehensive about the falls. He's my cautious boy! I barely got him close without him crying.
 Dawson on the other hand, wanted to climb the rail and get as close as possible! He was very impressed and loved the water.
 Climbing back up from the viewing landing.
 Dawson was so good about holding Gabriel's hand, and helping out. This gives him something to focus on, and helps keep Gabriel from running off too, though he was happily headed straight for the car to get away from the noise of the falls!
 Duluth overlook! Dawson loved the little 1ft wall they had there. This was a park overlooking the city.
 Happy boy! He liked to be out of the car again, and to see all the water.
 Gabriel spotted a dog. He spent much of the vacation with daddy, since I couldn't carry him for very long without getting sore.
 Canal Park, we walked out on the pier and watched a couple small boats come in. Dawson was impressed. He was also mad that I wouldn't let him walk on the wall. No fear of danger plus deep water is no good!
 Boat! Gabriel is still looking out the window everyday, saying boat! There's definitely no boats in our backyard here!
 Gabriel was not happy about being close to the water. My cautious boy was ok clinging close to daddy, but when we showed him the water closer he freaked out. I thought maybe the calm lake would be more appealing than the Falls, but apparently not.
 My boys :)
 We got to see the lift bridge go up a couple times to let boats through.
 Went in a boat museum at the pier. Dawson liked the big steering wheel.
 Climbing on big rocks is a must-do in Duluth! He was excited when I suggested he go climb on rocks. Finally something mom was allowing him to climb!
 Gabriel checking out the playground. No water here, must be safe.
 Dawson got to stretch his legs some more and climb! The playground was fun and they were happy to run and do what they wanted finally.
 Ate at Black Woods. They had a fish aquarium and a train running around the room. They were impressed. The bill was impressive too, but the food was good.
 Dawson being silly waiting for his food. I was happy with how they did waiting. We don't do a lot of sit down restaurants, they often don't go very well!
 Hotel! Our first room had 2 queens, but the deadbolt didn't work and the boys could both open the door easily. The door opened to the parking lot. I wasn't seeing that going well! So I called and they gave us a different room, which was a free upgrade and had 2 queens and a set of bunk beds! It was also in the main building and the window was overlooking the waterpark, so the boys were entertained and not thinking of getting out in the morning. When we got there, Dawson asked me if this was our new home. He's used to hotels being places we stay for the hospital for a long time, so he was a bit confused. Even now, a week later, he's been asking me if we're going back to our other home. So we're still working on explaining that it was a very short thing and we won't be going back for a long time. At the other places, it was normal to go home for a little bit and head back, so he seems to be just waiting for that day.
 A big iron ore boat we saw passing the hotel. I zoomed in for a better pic, but it wasn't very far away.
 Though they had bunk beds, they decided to sleep together in the strange place, in the top bunk. They cuddled up and were asleep very fast!
 Dawson cuddled Gabriel and this is how they fell asleep. So adorable!

On the 2nd day we went further north, about 90 minutes.
We stopped at a beach and Dawson loved throwing some rocks into the water. It was very windy and cold, so we didn't stay very long.

Throwing rocks
Gabriel wasn't a fan of all the wind. He was more interested in the backhoe working across the street.
Dawson was thrilled to play in the sand
We went to Gooseberry Falls. Dawson and I climbed down those rocks to get a closer look. He loved climbing.
 Lots of rocks to step on!
 The falls
 Trying to get all of us. Gabriel wasn't a fan of being so close to the water.
 He did best when held close.

 Dawson at the top of the waterfall. He was bummed that I wouldn't let him get closer. He wanted to climb down the rocks. He said he'd be careful. He was mad that I still said no.
 Gabriel having fun with Daddy.
 He was happy to be on the move again, away from the water.
The last bit of the trail. They both did really well walking and listening.
 Inside the building they had some animal info. Gabriel is comparing his foot to the wolf footprint.
 Dawson was taking a much needed break. He was getting a bit over-stimulated for a while.
 Split Rock Lighthouse
 Lots of steep stairs! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be though.
 Gabriel was impressed to look out over the water, and he loved seeing birds.
A big ship coming in
 We toured one of those big ships that's no longer in service, the William Irvin. The boys weren't very impressed. It was a more informational tour than I thought it would be. They were very bored.
 Dawson did like the wheel though!

 Gabriel did the best with being patient. He was amused by birds flying around.
After the tour we decided to head home. We had a couple other ideas for things to do, but I was having a lot of contractions and was feeling very miserable. So we headed home. We made a few stops for food and a playground to make the trip tolerable. Lots of restroom stops too! We made it home around 5pm. Very glad we got to go, it was nice getting away for a few days! 

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